Monday, September 28, 2009

Seeing Red

it was a sunny, the day i killed her. she never saw it coming. neither did i.

air whistles through the open window, my arm on the sill, my hand playing fighter pilot in the wind created by the passing of my grey truck. the ramp off the interstate winds through the lush green fields, leading into the asphalt jungle of the city. summer heat rises in a haze between the black and yellow line of the road, into the rich blue sky polka dotted with white puffy clouds.

green fades to yellow then red as we drag to a stop at the intersection, the breeze a sweet relief. smiles grace my lips, at two little boys playing with a red ball, bouncing it back and forth on the sidewalk. the laughter of their game spreads infectious glee as we wait our turn to move on toward our destiny.

all is right with the world, happy.

a dark mirage of movement out of the corner of my eye, a brief glimpse at what is coming, before my face caves in from a crushing blow. my pulse races with my mind, my hands clasp my broken face and the world swims in my tear filled eyes. blows rain upon my lap and chest, as i try to bat away the unknown assailant. screaming until my lungs ache, i stomp and kick until my truck rocks on its tires. heads turn and gaping mouths match the wide eyes in their awe at my plight.

arms splayed, the bird lay dead under the sole of my dirty work boot, its funeral dirge played out by my heart against my chest.

i imagine the bird had no malicious intent when she flew through my window. in you turn the movie back one frame, i had no malicious intent in my heart, just an awe for a beautiful day. in a split second, anger and fear took a life.

kinda like the words that come out of our mouth, when we let our emotions get the best of us, at the most inconvenient times. a slow car. the lady with a thousand coupons in your line at the supermarket. a spilled drink at the supper table. when something messes up our perfect little picture of life.

we all get angry. some people use it to change lives. some people use it to destroy them.

40 comments:

only a movie said...

Wow (yet again). Timely for me this week. Great post.

Jaime said...

wow is right... i should make my boss read this post. maybe then he'd keep his mouth shut the next time he wants to yell at someone over something stupid. or maybe he'd fire my ass for making that suggestion...

willow said...

I'm thinking Hitchcock's "The Birds"...or maybe "Bird".

Jill said...

When I saw, "it was sunny the day I killed her" I was almost afraid to read on!!!

Brian...you are on a ROLL. Seriously!
Awesome stuff.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

A fabulous read. Fascinating how primal and immediate our instincts are to keep our body and its boundaries in tact. The event is over before we really know what happened. And then it is so disconcerting and devestating. I could really feel your predicament.

Bravo again, Brian.

Encore!!

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

Amazing! Good detail and good description of emotion. nicely done.

Rich Grasso said...

Heavey reading at 11:16pm. Still think you should write a book, or some lyrics to my electronica album.

The Retired One said...

That rush of adrenaline and then the weakness that feels like you are drained....
I have felt that too.
It is powerful and terrifying.
And for some, in irreversible situations...life-altering.

Megan said...

I don't know how you do it.

liza said...

you see, i'm not the only one. Rich seems to think so, too.

I'm still thinking about the last two lines. They'll stay with me all day tomorrow.

BeautifulWreck said...

I hate birds, so even tho this is well written this scared me. The thought of a bird getting in my car .. omg.

Kathleen said...

Fight or flight, right? Hard to alter what is so instinctual. What a fine message! I, for one, shrink from anger, and THAT is not a good thing. Working on it...

Goofball said...

a bird flew through your window???? Yikes!!!!!!
I once roadkilled a pheasant that was crossing a freeway: one big explosion of feathers.

"the rich blue sky polka dotted with white puffy clouds"....wow wow wow. what a great sentences. I hope if I keep reading your blog, I pick up a little bit of your word/image genius.

Maggie May said...

I thought that this was the big confession...... *I killed her* and my heart skipped a beat! Phew!
Very poetically written, as always.

Alan Burnett said...

That is quite a rainbow of descriptive terms there.

Protege said...

I dislike anger and I'll do anything I can to avoid it. But in the process, I often make others angry at me.
I just noticed that you never capitalize your text.;)

subtorp77 said...

I know all about the spilled drink. Almost got me fired, it did! Never had a bird fly in the window but have had one hit the outside mirror! Ouch!

Gaston Studio said...

Poor bird; poor Brian. Wonder what brought the two of you together on that fateful day?

Daniel said...

This explains the incessant hand washing! Aside from that, it has always fascinated me how quickly our emotions and frame of mind can change from peace to anger. What's more amazing is how little it takes to initiate the metamorphosis.

Ocean Girl said...

So you killed the bird? You, killed the bird? I thought the bird died when it flew into the car and hit your face.

Betsy said...

I thought it was going to be a wasp or bee.

IB said...

The other day I just about drove into oncoming traffic because there was a MOTH in my car. I can only imagine my level of freak-out if it had been a bird. I know that doesn't speak to the point of this post (which is great by the way), but still...

Candie Bracci said...

Intense and scary and intense and also scary!

Valerie said...

Wow, what an opener! And what a tale. It's so easy to explode without warning when things go a little haywire.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Your talent shines..... I have no words.......

TechnoBabe said...

Your last few posts have been amazing. This story is a wonderful way to illustrate how much other people are affected by what we say and do.

California Girl said...

that was intense and I "never saw it coming" either.

Brian Miller said...

lol. willow, i almost titled it hitchcock.

kathleen, i dunno there good that can happen with our anger if it is directed toward injustice, finding cures, fueling passions.

maggie, teehee...oh the confessions are there, they will come occassionally.

ocean, i only wish...it was the insane flapping and fighting that freaked me out the most, especially since i could not really see...or were you trying to make a joke about my face...smiles.

to everyone else, trust me i read and love your comments. with the busted computer, my time is limitd to little snippets and i try to hit your blogs before responding to the comments.

Liza said...

What an opening, and I love the line, "my hand playing fighter pilot in the wind."
My nephew recently had the experience of a crow flying into the windshield of the car he was in.
The last two lines of this post are amazing.
Thanks for sharing Brian.

Baino said...

Actually, I am less angry these days. I don't mind queues, I don't get frustrated in traffic .. I only lose my bottle at the 'big' things or when it all just gets too much. I get the odd bird in the house bashing itself relentlessly against walls but so far, I've managed to rescue them with a tea towel. Unhygienic as it may be!

lakeviewer said...

Only man questions his actions,aiming to control his reactions. Yet...

Cabo said...

I'm coming to the 'Burg tomorrow. I'll fix your busted machine. It'll be later in the evening. Holler at your younger, more handsome, cousin.

-DF

Cinnamon said...

Brilliant first sentence! Great post and I to echo Bonnie, the instinct of self-preservation is strong.

Hit 40 said...

We should have non coupon lines at the grocery store!!! Kinda like 10 items or less. I am always jealous of the organization to have the coupons. I have tried with the coupons on again and then off.

I lost my temper a little at work today :-( One of the hyper ones got to me. I shall do better tomorrow.

Ronda Laveen said...

There are somethings once done, that we can never take back. We can apologize but that never really erases the black mark.

blueviolet said...

The emotions and imagery you created here were really powerful. I adore your writing.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This seems like you're being hard on yourself. While it would traumatize me if I'd been in your shoes the way it did you, I think there are some encounters with nature that we're not meant to have. I feel sad for both you and the bird, though.

Pastor Sharon said...

Brian,
I know you wrote this yesterday. . . and God knew I needed it this evening!

Thank you for that gentle reminder. God bless you!

♥ Braja said...

Well said....a lot to say about anger. But that *was* well said...

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Wow. I'm in awe. You always seem to put me in awe. Every. Single. Time.